Farley to face newcomer Thorne

— To date, he said he has passed “every piece of legislation I’ve sponsored” – most notably among them library legislation.

“Libraries are the cathedrals of learning for the general public. There are a lot of challenges in education,” Farley said.

Farley’s long tenure in the Senate means he’s been there for some of its famously inept moments, as well. He said things have improved markedly in the past few sessions.

“We went from the most dysfunctional legislature when we lost control — it was terrible — to one of the best operating legislatures in action… now with on-time budgets,” he said.

Thorne said she is building her platform on getting government focus “back on the working middle-class person.”

“I feel that we’ve lost focus of who government is supposed to be taking care of,” she said.

She pointed to recent disputes in Albany about union contracts.

“Breaking unions away from collective bargaining is not the solution,” Thorne said. “What they are trying to do is pull everything back from the unions rather than find a way to get benefits to all hard working people. There must be a solution that works for business and their employees.”

On a national note, the two candidates diverged on what has been the hot-button topic of the day: the health care reform law. Farley said he’d like to see it done away with and overhauled.

“I am concerned about the cost that’s involved…I’m also concerned that it may lead to rationing and be a detriment, particularly to our elderly,” he said.

Thorne, on the other hand, fully supports the recently upheld law.

“I think Obamacare is going to address a lot of the shortcomings we have within our health care system,” she said.

Thorne said that her campaign is not accepting any funds until after the July 12 deadline to file petitions, but she expects to raise about$75,000. Farley had nearly $100,000 in his war chest as of January, when the most recent figures are available.

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